FEET ARE MADE FOR WALKING
By Jay Chatterjee & Roshmi Raychaudhuri
Walking is an activity recommended highly
by every health cognoscenti, and one we all take very much for
Consider the highly complex processes that
it involves. Did you know that the simple act of lifting a leg
to take a step forward activates as many as 40 leg muscles?
That one walking step pulls into activity almost 200 muscles
of the body? A domino effect follows; back, shoulder and chest
muscles bunch and pull back to stop you falling flat on your
face, the abdominal muscles work in reverse to keep you from
falling backwards; your mind has to calculate the spatial relationships
between your body parts, in a series of sensory transmissions
and registrations of information passed through the central
nervous system. With every step taken, this same flurry of activity
is repeated, over and over again.
Watch a toddler take his first steps, and
you will realize how difficult it actually is. Is it any wonder
that a series of steps (walking) is one of the best known ways
to burn up calories?
In the same way that we take every familiar
object for granted, so, too, we do our feet. The feet are designed
for weight bearing and for locomotion. Twenty-six bones placed
together in a marvel of precision engineering, provide both
a stable foundation, as well as shock-absorbers for the body
frame. Any imbalance in alignment can have serious repercussions
on our total well-being. If the foot collapses or twists, the
strain travels up into the hip joints and lower back, causing
pain and discomfort. Distorted walking, caused by ill-fitting
footwear, can develop into a chronic ailment.
Every step, if you're not in perfect alignment,
would force the muscles to work harder. And, if you don't keep
mobile, you may gradually lose your flexibility. Tight muscles
get tighter and more rigid; weak muscles get weaker and lose
their tone. Because muscles act as the body's natural shock
absorbers, inflexible muscles become vulnerable to pulls and
tears, and may also cause friction in the joints, leading to
A sure fire way of keeping the feet flexible
is to practice a couple of incredibly simple yoga exercises.
Don't let the simplicity of the motions fool you; they are extremely
The first yogic movement is known as "Tadasana".
Stand with your weight evenly distributed on both feet. Raise
you arms over your head, interlocking The fingers with the palms
turned out towards the ceiling. Raise yourself on your toes
stretching your arms upwards to their utmost. Hold for a moment,
Before returning to the starting position. Breathe out on the
up-motion; breathe in when you come down. Repeat this 5/10 times.
Build this second yogic "suppleness-builder"
into your regular regimen too. Sit on the floor with your feet
stretched out in front of you, and your spine straight but relaxed.
Point and stretch your toes downwards as far as they will go
(you will feel a stretch on your instep). Hold for a moment,
and slowly curl them backwards towards your body (you will feel
a stretch on your calves). Breathe out as the toes stretch outwards;
breathe in on the reverse movement.
Repeat 5/10 times.
And, finally, here is a simple awareness
building pre-meditative technique, known as "Chakramanam", which
works somewhat like a walking meditation! Go for a long walk.
You can choose a pace you are comfortable with, as long as you
maintain a consistent rhythmic gait. Your gaze must be directed
at your feet, and your mind must be turned off from your surroundings
(don't practice Chakramanam walking down to the grocery store!).
As you walk, chant the "OM" mantra, synchronizing it with the
movement of your feet. Be unaware of anything other than the
rhythm of the mantra and the movement of your feet. Relaxed
and effortless movement is the essence of this yoga.
After all that walking your feet may need
some pampering! Green tea, Geranium oil and Tea Tree oil have
anti-germ and anti-bacteria properties, making them excellent
balms for the feet. Use these natural ingredients to also arrest
common foot problems such as foot odor and Athlete's Foot (a
fungal infection which thrives in damp environments). The tannic
acid from the tea kills foot odor, so a quick solution for fresh
feet would be a regular soak in a bowl of water to which brewed
tea has been added.
So, have we helped you to get back on your
feet again ??
*** by Jay Chatterjee & Roshmi Raychaudhuri
Jay Chatterjee, a Chartered Accountant and ex-Corporate Banker,
lives in Canada.
Roshmi Raychaudhuri is a business-woman residing in India. They
have shared a longstanding and keen interest in the effects
of natural therapies. On a trip to the Himalayan foothills,
they came across an ancient anti-aging and body rejuvenation
system based on stimulation of the hormonal glands. They have
put this information on their website for the world to share.
If this subject interests you, please visit
Copyright © Jay Chatterjee
& Roshmi Raychaudhuri . All
rights reserved. Permission
is granted to print/publish the above article provided that
it is printed in its entirety, including the resource box giving
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